Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

dcra

DCRA
DCRA
Menu Button

Vending Steps to Licensing

The Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is excited that you are interested in obtaining a Vending Business License in the District. If you haven't done so already, we recommend reading the Vending Handbook, available on the DCRA website. This contains important information about operating as a vendor.

To help you navigate the application process, below is an outline of the steps to obtain a Class A, B, or C Vending Business License. If you have questions, you can contact the 
Vending Team at [email protected].

Class A Vending Business License: Food Vendor

  1. Corporate Registration - Register Your Business and Trade Name with the Corporations Division (If you are applying as a sole proprietor with no trade name, a corporate registration is not required)
  2. Tax Registration & Clean Hands - Register your business with the Office of Tax & Revenue by completing form FR-500. Request a Certificate of Clean Hands. The certificate must be dated within 30 days of submission of your license application.
  3. Health Certificate - Submit a Mobile Food Vending Application with DC Health (DOH). Questions about a health certificate should be sent directly to DOH via [email protected]
  4. Propane Permit - Apply for a Propane Operation Permit with Fire & EMS (if applicable)
  5. Schedule an Inspection - Send an email to [email protected] to request an inspection of your mobile unit. Attach the Vending Letter received from DOH. The inspection will include the following agencies: DOH, Fire and EMS Department (FEMS), and DCRA. DCRA will be conducting a measurement of your vending unit. Please refer to the Vending Handbook for design standards. A valid government-issued ID and vehicle registration must be presented at the time of inspection.
  6. Health Inspection Report - Follow-up with DC Health to receive your Health Inspection Report – [email protected].
  7. Obtain Police Criminal History Report - A Police Criminal History Report for the District of Columbia and your state of residence, if other than DC, is required for the owner and all employees. Reports must be dated within 30 days of submission of your license application.
  8. Submit a Vending Business License Application and attach the following documents:
  • Corporate Registration and Trade Name Registration (if applicable)
  • Notice of Business Tax Registration & Clean Hands Certificate
  • Certified Food Protection Manager Identification Card
  • DC Health Inspection Report
  • Propane Permit
  • Government-Issued ID for owner and all employees
  • Passport-sized photo of owner and all employees for ID badge
  • Police Criminal History Report for the District of Columbia and State of Residence (if other than DC) for owner and all employees

Once your application is received, a licensing specialist will review and followup with payment instructions.

Class B Vending Business License: Merchandise Vendor

  1. Corporate Registration - Register Your Business and Trade Name with the Corporations Division (If you are applying as a sole proprietor with no trade name, a corporate registration is not required)
  2. Tax Registration & Clean Hands - Register your business with the Office of Tax & Revenue by completing form FR-500. Request a Certificate of Clean Hands. The certificate must be dated within 30 days of submission of your license application.
  3. Schedule an Inspection - Send an email to [email protected] to request an inspection of your mobile unit. DCRA will be conducting a measurement of your vending unit. Please refer to the Vending Handbook for design standards. A valid government-issued ID and vehicle registration must be presented at the time of inspection.
  4. Obtain Police Criminal History Report - A Police Criminal History Report for the District of Columbia and your state of residence, if other than DC, is required for the owner and all employees. Reports must be dated within 30 days of submission of your license application.
  5. Submit a Vending Business License Application and attach the following documents:
  • Corporate Registration and Trade Name Registration (if applicable)
  • Notice of Business Tax Registration & Clean Hands Certificate
  • Government-Issued ID for owner and all employees
  • Passport-sized photo of owner and all employees for ID badge
  • Police Criminal History Report for the District of Columbia and State of Residence (if other than DC) for owner and all employees

Once your application is received, a licensing specialist will review and followup with payment instructions. 

Class C Vending Business License: Public Market Manager

  1. Corporate Registration - Register Your Business and Trade Name with the Corporations Division (If you are applying as a sole proprietor with no trade name, a corporate registration is not required)
  2. Tax Registration & Clean Hands - Register your business with the Office of Tax & Revenue by completing form FR-500. Request a Certificate of Clean Hands. The certificate must be dated within 30 days of submission of your license application.
  3. Location Authorization:
    1. Apply for a Public Space Permit from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) if your market will be located on public space. Note: If your market will be located at a DPR or DCPS location, you will be required to submit a space agreement/permit from the respective agency.
    2. Apply for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy from the DCRA Permit Center if your market will be located on private property.
  4. Submit a Vending Business License Application and attach the following documents:
  • Corporate Registration and Trade Name Registration (if applicable)
  • Notice of Business Tax Registration & Clean Hands Certificate
  • Public Space Permit or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy
  • Government-Issued ID for manager and all employees
  • Passport-sized photo of manager and all employees for ID badge

*Note: Always when a public market is in operation, the Public Market Manager or a vendor employee shall be on site. The employee must hold a valid Vendor Employee Badge. Market Managers and market vendors are required to comply with all DC Health requirements. Contact DC Health at [email protected] for more information.

Once your application is received, a licensing specialist will review and followup with payment instructions.